Haggai Ram’s book offers a critical reading, the first of its kind, of the interpretive discourse about Iran that has developed in Israel. Following the dismantling of the conceptual infrastructure of the discourse and the exposure of its relation to mechanisms of power and opinion creation in Israel, the reader will discover that the discourse dealing with Iran is derived from processes that Israeli society has undergone since the 1970s. In reflective and original writing the author shows how the system of images created about Iran is connected, inter alia, to existential anxieties of Israeli agents of knowledge and hegemony concerning the haredization and Mizrahization of Israeli society.
The banning of Iran to the realms of what is called “radical otherness” thus expresses an attempt to banish the ethnic, religious, and fundamentalist demon from Israeli society, no less than it reflects the intentions of the Iranian government and its policy.
“Reading” Iran in Israel: The Self and the Other, Religion and Modernity, the fourth in the Theory and Criticism in Context series, is a must not only for anyone interested in Iran, but mainly for anyone who deals with the morphology of Israeli society and its status in the Middle East.